Sold Out Run for Freedom to host 5K


Photo by Ricky Labrada

Sold Out, a student organization dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking, planned their third annual Run for Freedom 5K to be hosted April 26.

Sold Out, a student organization dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking, will host their third annual Run for Freedom 5K April 26. It will begin and end at Central Mall on Marquette University’s campus. There are currently 26 participants, mostly students, signed up, but Madeline Arzbecker, Sold Out co-president and senior in the College of Health Sciences said they are hoping for at least 30. 

“Our mission is raise awareness for human trafficking on campus, and so we do that through various educational events and volunteering, and fundraising,” Arzbecker said.

The Inner Beauty Center is an organization which provides a safe place for women who have been sexually exploited find their value, purpose and inner beauty, according to their website.

Arzbecker said that while the 5K is a race, you can run or walk, and it’s more for fun than it is competitive.

“Anybody can do it,” she said.

After the run, there will be dinner and speakers, Sold Out’s founder and potentially a human trafficking survivor.

“I always look forward to learning people’s stories and experiences,” Chloe David, Sold Out co-president and senior in the College of Engineering, said. “To me, that puts a face to a cause. We can talk all about the high number of victims and sales that this crime generates, but when you hear the story of an actual victim, only then do you begin to understand why we need people standing up for them.”

The Run for Freedom was created to be Sold Out’s main event of the spring semester.  

“In the winter, we had a big event, which was the Christmas Wishes, and so we thought we should have a big event in the spring,” Emily Morrone, a senior on the College of Health Sciences. “We thought a run would be a really good thing, because a lot of people like to run.” Morrone was the former president of Sold Out. 

Christmas Wishes is an event in which Sold Out fundraises and buys gifts for women at the Inner Beauty Center during the holiday season.

David said a 5k is unique because it shows people doing something that makes them uncomfortable —running— for an important cause.

“In my opinion, it’s a more selfless kind of fundraiser. You don’t necessarily get something out of it for yourself, except maybe a sense of accomplishment if you like exercising,” David said. “You just get the feeling of knowing you helped raise awareness for a really important and pertinent issue.”

Arzbecker said she thinks human trafficking is something that is underground and that people don’t talk about it much.

“Everyone is susceptible to to it, even us as students at a university,” Arzbecker said. “It’s happening around us, and it’s happening to our classmates, and we might not even know it, so we really need to be more aware of it so we can either help ourselves or help other people.” 

David said at its core, human trafficking is a dehumanizing crime.

“It’s particularly important to know about the issue here because we keep hearing about how Milwaukee is a hub for human trafficking.,” David said. “No human deserves to be sold and forced to do something against their will. Human trafficking victims don’t have the freedom to choose like the rest of us, so we must stand up for them when they don’t have a voice.”